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Ikechukwu Iloputa
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Iloputa Battles Ekpenyong For Final Ticket As DavNotch Open Gathers Steam

Ikechukwu Iloputa is just one win away from reaching the final of the DavNotch Tennis Open Championship currently holding in Abuja.

The Nigerian number eight seed burst into the semis of the tournament by defeating Canice Abua, Nigeria’s number five seed, to put himself within striking distance of a national trophy. The match ended in two straight sets of 6-3, 6-2.

For a podium place finish in the Men’s Singles event, Iloputa will now have to defeat Ekpenyong, Nigeria’s number one player and defending champion, who was bested Michael Emmanuel in two straight, sets winning 6-3, 7-5.

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Uche Oparaoji, Nigeria’s former number one player, reminded Nigerians why he is one of the country’s best players around by teaching Daniel Adeleye some tennis lessons on the court.

The current Nigerian number three player was in a terrific form after losing the first set 3-6 to the Nigerian top junior player on the ITF rankings. He picked up in the second set and rightly took it 6-4. But it was in the final set that the player showed what he’s made of.

Anu Ayegbusi

With the game sitting pretty at 4-1 in favour of Adeleye, Oparaoji produced some of the best tennis around to win five games at a stretch and take the lead 5-4. Adeleye tried to force the game into a frantic end by drawing it 5-5.

But his opponent seemed to have the game under control even better, and deservedly won 7-5 to a loud cheer from his supporters who crowded the court where he was playing.

Lefty will now reach the final of the DavNotch Open if he is able to defeat Usman Kushimo, another top player who saw off ageless Henry Atseye in two straight sets of 6-2, 6-4.

READ ALSO: Favour Moses: Rising Above The Odds To Become A Tennis Superstar

In the Women’s Singles event, Blessing Omotayo, the 2024 VEMP Open winner will be playing the semifinal against Khadijat Mohammed in a repeat of their encounter at the VEMP Open event.

Omotayo defeated Favour Moses 7-5, 6-0 in her quarterfinal match while Mohammed bested Omolayo Bamidele with a 6-3, 6-0 win.

Timipre Maxwell defeated experienced player, Blessing Anuna, 7-5, 6-1, to set up a semifinal clash against giant killer, Anu Ayegbusi, who also defeated Patience Onebamhion 6-1, 6-3.


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